City of Villa Park will not go to pot

By Sentry Staff

In the aftermath of California voters’ decision to legalize marijuana, the Villa Park City Council agreed to expand its current ban of the medicinal herb to include recreational use. 
Under the ordinance passed 5-0 at the Nov. 15 council meeting, the cultivation, delivery or sale of cannabis for adult recreational use is now prohibited within city limits, just as it has been for medical purposes.

While the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana is legal statewide, cities are still allowed to control it within their boundaries.  Following the legalization of marijuana for medicinal use in 1996, the California legislature clarified the scope of the Compassionate Use Act to recognize the authority of counties and cities to adopt local ordinances that regulate the location, operation or establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries.  Villa Park banned the substance in 2010.

In October 2015, the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act set additional provisions allowing local control of the cultivation and delivery of the drug as well.  The city enacted ordinances prohibiting those activities, effective Jan. 1 of this year.

Under the new Adult Use of Marijuana Act, cities retain the authority to restrict recreational or commercial activities involving cannabis, with one exception.  The voter-approved legislation allows indoor cultivation for personal use.  It cannot, however, be visible or apparent outside the property, constitute a health or safety issue, or impact neighboring properties.

Villa Park is banning all cannabis and medical marijuana-related activity within the city to the “maximum extent permitted by law.” The ordinance takes effect 30 days from its passage and adoption.